Oct. 4, 2017
By Brad Muller | More Features
Some athletes are superstitious. So are some coaches, and yes, fans are, too. When your team is on a roll, why mess with a good thing? Wes and Katie Lyon are South Carolina alumni whose love of the Gamecocks travels deep into their bones, or at least one lucky steak bone.
“It was our good luck charm,” said Lyon, a 2011 graduate of the University. “I’ve always been very superstitious. I’m superstitious about where I sit in my living room when watching a game on television. That’s a big one for both me and my husband. Certainly I have lucky clothing, too.”
This all started when the Lyons made their way from their home in Charleston to Greenville to watch the South Carolina men’s basketball team play Duke in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last March. The couple met some friends for brunch at Halls Chophouse, and Katie was intrigued by the 34-ounce “tomahawk” steak on the menu.
“I’m not even a big steak eater, but I ordered it,” Lyon said. "I did not finish it. So I asked the waitress to wrap up the meat, and I asked if I could get the bone to go. I have no idea why I thought the bone would be lucky. We carried it into the arena, and we won, which was fantastic! So we said that we have to take this bone to Madison Square Garden (for the next round).”
This year I signed the most interesting item that I have ever been asked to sign.
After sorting through a lot of questions from security at the arena and later from the Transportation Security Administration on their flight to New York City, the bone became a fixture at those postseason games. Whether it was lucky or not, the unwritten rule in sports is that you don’t mess with a streak. The Gamecocks would go on to defeat Baylor in the Sweet 16 and Florida in the Elite Eight to advance to the program’s first appearance in the NCAA Final Four.
When the season ended, South Carolina head coach Frank Martin was told about the bone and gladly autographed it for the couple.
“This year I signed the most interesting item that I have ever been asked to sign, and it was a steak bone,” Martin said. “The family that sent for it to be signed traveled with that bone as we went through our NCAA Tournament journey, so I figured it brought tremendous luck and I wanted to continue that attachment to our program and our University.”
The couple was thrilled when the bone was shipped back to them with Martin’s signature. Unfortunately, the bone ran into some tough luck in the offseason.
“It was in my possession for about eight minutes after we got it back from when Frank Martin had signed it,” Lyon said. “Our dog [a Jack Russell named Oliver] found it, and apparently he has some very impressive back legs. He didn’t eat anything accept the Sharpie part where Frank Martin had autographed it. We walked in minutes later, and he jumped off the kitchen island with his tail between his legs. He knew.”
While the bone now has some new teeth marks, Lyon is convinced that it has not lost any of its lucky mojo.
“Absolutely not,” Lyon said. “It’s still ok. It didn’t take away from anything.”
While the way the Gamecocks play likely had more to do with their success than anything else, make no bones about it (pun intended), the Lyons will always believe they did their part to help the team along.
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